• Brandon Sanchez

COVID-19 Cases forces the postponement of elective surgeries at Samaritan Healthcare till October



- Moses Lake, WA


COVID-19 Surge is forcing the postponement of elective surgical procedures at Samaritan Healthcare. On Wednesday, September 22, representatives of the Samaritan Medical Staff and the Senior Leadership Team collaboratively made the decision to postpone all elective surgical procedures at Samaritan Hospital. The operational decision comes in light of the sustained staffing strains caused by the ongoing surge of COVID-19 in the greater Moses Lake community.


Samaritan Healthcare released a press statement stating in a joint statement to the medical staff community, Dr. Carter, Samaritan’s Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Matt Belan, Samaritan’s Interim Peri-Operative Medical Director stated:


“Due to this unprecedented challenge to our healthcare community, we have made the decision to temporarily pause elective surgeries. We will continue to provide surgical care for urgent and emergent cases such as fractures, cancer care, incarcerated hernias, infections and other cases where a delay in definitive treatment will cause harm.”

Since Tuesday, August 31, Samaritan Hospital has averaged an in-patient census of roughly (20) COVID-19 patients per day. Samaritan Hospital has 49 beds, 12 of which are designated for labor and delivery – leaving 38 medical beds available to care for patients in need of hospitalization. Furthermore, Samaritan’s Intensive Care Unit has often operated at 100% capacity or greater for the past several weeks, serving the highest level of care for our critically ill patients.

“The staff of Samaritan Healthcare has responded to this crisis with unrelenting dedication, care and professionalism. The teamwork, collaboration and willingness to go the extra mile has truly been inspirational, humbling and exemplary of a community of healthcare providers coming together to meet the challenge,” stated Dr. Carter and Dr. Belan. “We are truly grateful for the work that has been done and will need to continue to be done in the coming days and weeks.”

Moving forward, the surgical work group will review the situation on a weekly basis, assessing surgical capacity through the lens of patient census and severity of illness, staffing availability, and operational resources that directly impact the ability to provide surgical care. The current postponement of elective surgical procedures is set to run until at least Friday, October 1. Samaritan CEO, Theresa Sullivan recently shared that the organization wants to ensure the community knows that while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shift operations at Samaritan, it is still safe and important to receive routine medical care.


“Although staffing has become a significant challenge, we are still committed to providing care for those that need us most throughout the pandemic and everyday life,” stated Sullivan.

“Please don’t delay care. We have already seen that delaying care can worsen the patient’s condition. Our teams are doing everything they can to provide care to our patients and community.”
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